Business sustainability has come a long way, but problems such as climate change, water scarcity, species extinction, and many others continue to worsen. Fresh thought leadership from Andrew Hoffman at the Erb Institute is pivoting the thinking on how companies can and will create market shifts that will enable new forms of business sustainability. Sustainability 1.0 supported a “greening of the market.” However worthwhile, these measures will “not actually solve the root problems it was meant to address. Our world continues to become less, not more, sustainable.”

Sustainability 2.0 is next phase of business sustainability. This phase is a call for a transformation of how businesses operate, “discarding such outdated notions as treating the environment as a limitless source of materials and sink for waste, seeing economic value as the only measure of nature’s worth, encouraging unbridled consumption, and considering perpetual economic growth as even possible.”

How will this happen? First, corporations need to rethink their business strategies to play a stronger role in guiding the sustainability of the systems of which they are a part. Second, the business model itself will undergo reconceptualization. Market transformation not only compels more systemic business strategies but also challenges traditional ways of conceiving business itself. It demands new conceptions of corporate purpose, notions of consumption, and models and metrics of business success.

Link to the full article in SSIR here

The era of corporations integrating sustainable practices is being surpassed by a new age of corporations actively transforming the market to make it more sustainable.

Article authored by Andrew Hoffman, Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability.  Published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2018.

Professor Hoffman's article has received tremendous commentary (shared below). Hoffman shares thoughtful feedback and a summation below.

I want to thank everyone who contributed comments to this article. I have often felt frustrated when comments sections become caustic debates among people who do not want to listen. But these comments were truly constructive in augmenting the points made in the article and in my own mind. Thank you for that. As a summary, here are some themes that I saw emerge:

The first theme is the point that business alone cannot drive the shift to market transformation. As Glenn Pricket from The Nature Conservancy points out, “we need change agents inside business itself. But we need a broader groundswell of public pressure to change the way we humans create, buy and sell things, to put ourselves on a livable path. That will require political engagement. Leaders—be they in business, NGOs, academia, faith, or politics—need to speak up!”

A second theme, which is encouraging, is that some within business are already embarked on this shift. Patti Pope, CEO of CMS Energy, points out that “we refer to our version of ‘conscious capitalism’ as our ‘triple bottom line.’ Our most recent public commitment demonstrates our thinking: 80% carbon emissions reduction and zero coal by 2040 – a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Accord requirements.” Kevin Self at Schneider Electric, adds that “we continually talk about energy becoming more Decarbonized, more Digitized and more Decentralized!” and he sees business opportunity as “both the private sector AND public sector (college campuses, municipalities, cities, states) who ALL believe that this is the right path forward – and they are looking to companies like Schneider to assist in this journey.” Tad Dritz cringes when he hears about “‘sustainability’ efforts because they are misnamed” and sees “a new, real phase of sustainability … one where companies employing unsustainable models go out of business because they can no longer compete in a society that demands more of them.” Aron Cramer, from BSR, adds that market transformation needs to focus on “basic purpose, alignment with social expectations and needs” and that “the good news for all of us dedicated to sustainable business is that today’s fast-changing world means that we are pushing on an open door.”

A third theme is the need for new forms of education that will help business’ continue the shift. Dave Stangis argues that “Regardless of the tags we use to describe the next iteration of ‘business as we know it’ (Sustainability 2.0, 3.0, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Purpose-driven Enterprise, etc), the facts are clear. Generating business-, societal- and planetary-value in the 21st century requires a new set of skills at the front-line, in the C-suite and among board directors.” Dede Hapner, formerly of PG&E, adds that “business schools need to prepare students to be effective and successful. Offering courses and experiences on how to build effective collaborations with a range of stakeholders, lobbying, media skills, etc. would be useful and powerful.”

A fourth theme is to keep emphasizing the importance of government regulation. Former EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy points out that “environmental regulations are designed to correct market failures and they have worked well when done right.” But, she adds, “when the market itself drives transformation that eliminates the inequity that required government intervention – then we can all call it a real – and sustainable – win.” She also sees hope that, while there is a lull at the federal level, this shift will come from the “cities and states who are stepping up.” Mark Weick, from Dow, adds that “market transformation – and sustainability 2.0 – is going to require not only technology and business strategy shifts, but also the more difficult shifts in public policy and human culture.”

On this point, Georg Kell, Chairman of the Board at Arabesque Partners, is skeptical, fearing “wishful thinking” in the article and that “markets and business do not function in isolation. Regulatory frameworks, finance markets and consumer preferences are shaping trajectories…we need smart regulations and educated consumers if we are going to fully address the climate change issue.” Tom Lyon adds that systemic change “requires changing the rules and institutions that govern the market” and he warns that “the track record of industry associations in self-regulating their way to change is spotty at best.” Randy Mueller is also “skeptical of CSR initiatives for as long as companies may integrate them a la carte” and “we’ll need to do more and do better going forward.”

Finally, Megan DeYoung adds two important and helpful additions to the article. First, we need to “create ‘societal boundaries’ alongside ‘planetary boundaries’ to generate a more holistic set of KPIs.” Clementine Klijberg concurs, seeing Sustainable Development “as a more holistic approach to sustainability that goes beyond environmental issues to include social challenges as well.” Second, “corporate sustainability discussions typically focus on large corporations. But start-ups have great – possibly greater – potential to take a giant leap forward,” particularly “purpose-driven companies and in companies founded by women and minorities.”

Once again, thank you to everyone who commented and joined in the process of further clarifying and articulating the next phase of business sustainability that all the were in agreement must happen.

Andrew J. Hoffman
Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise
Ross School of Business/School of Environment and Sustainability
University of Michigan

Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • Glenn Pricket - The Nature Conservancy says:

    Great article, Andy. You’ve provided a good, clear, and inspiring analysis of the shift in sustainability thinking on the part of business leaders from integration to transformation. The direction and the need are clear. But can markets reinvent themselves fast enough from the “inside” to avoid catastrophic climate change and biodiversity loss? My experience says “probably not.” Yes, we need change agents inside business itself. But we need a broader groundswell of public pressure to change the way we humans create, buy and sell things, to put ourselves on a livable path. That will require political engagement. Leaders—be they in business, NGOs, academia, faith, or politics—need to speak up!

  • Patti Poppe - President and CEO, Consumers Energy says:

    Great article Andy. As the CEO of CMS Energy, it is my obligation to sustainably deliver results. We refer to our version of “conscious capitalism” as our “triple bottom line.” Not a new concept, but it is an inspiring rally cry inside and outside our company. We believe that we can serve people, the planet AND prosperity. Our customers, co-workers, communities and investors benefit from a long term mindset focused on reducing environmental impact and going well beyond compliance to assure long term success. Our most recent public commitment demonstrates our thinking: 80% carbon emissions reduction and zero coal by 2040 – a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Accord requirements. I can simultaneously work on this year’s financial performance AND do it in a way that prepares for the future and enables sustainable performance. I suppose you could say we have embraced the new conception of a corporation’s purpose!

  • Dave Stangis - CSO, Campbell's says:

    An important read for sustainability and strategy executives as we enter a new era of business value creation. Great work Andy in summarizing the evolution of both – business intelligence and a career field that didn’t exist 30 years ago.

    Regardless of the tags we use to describe the next iteration of “business as we know it” (Sustainability 2.0, 3.0, the Forth Industrial Revolution, the Purpose-driven Enterprise, etc), the facts are clear. Generating business-, societal- and planetary-value in the 21st century require a new set of skills at the front-line, in the C-suite and among board directors.

    Thank you for investing in that journey and sharing your unique perspective.

  • Gina McCarthy - Former EPA Administrator, Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment - Harvard says:

    Andrew thanks for sharing. It was a really thoughtful discussion of how businesses have begun to make the shift from embracing sustainability as an additional consideration when doing “business as usual,” to integrating sustainability into the design of how they do business – essentially redesigning business models and norms – or what I call “business unusual.” This shift from “greening” BAU to investing in new ways or doing business is a fundamental transition that I have been touting as I go around trying to give people hope that the uncertainty in DC will pass and may even lead to a big leap forward.

    As we all know, environmental regulations are designed to correct market failures and they have worked well when done right. But when the market itself drives transformation that eliminates the inequity that required government intervention – then we can all call it a real – and sustainable – win.

    I couldn’t agree more with your comparison. We both are reading the history as well as the tealeaves the same way. The Trump Administration has taken a short hiatus on federal climate leadership, but that has put wind in the sails of cities and states who are stepping up. It has also raised the awareness of businesses who know climate change is a threat and see a growing need to respond to the shift in pubic opinion that is increasingly demanding actions on climate change and embracing a clean energy future for its jobs and overall economic and health benefits – particularly the demands of savvy, socially conscious young people who know how to use social media to demand change.

    In short – regardless of this Administration’s spoken commitment to go” back to basics,” there is no going back on climate action. The really interesting questions is, what businesses will get in front and capture or create markets that open up paths towards a low carbon future, what ones will be prodded into it from their more forward leaning investors or consumers and actually have the resilience to adapt, and what ones will go the way of the dinosaur. While I can’t predict what businesses will fall into what category, I do believe that the more businesses that fall into the first, the more this country will lead the world in innovation and capture the jobs and overall economic benefits of moving towards a low carbon future – and the more we will all benefits from a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable and just world.

  • Kevin Self, SVP Strategy, Business Development & Government Affairs - Schneider Electric says:

    Andy, Great and timely article. At Schneider Electric, we continually talk about energy becoming more Decarbonized, more Digitized and more Decentralized! And as our CEO stated last June after the US left the Paris Agreement, “helping our customers to access sustainable and clean energy makes good economic sense”! We have seen rapid growth and demand over the past 12 months from both the private sector AND public sector (college campuses, municipalities, cities, states) who ALL believe that this is the right path forward – and they are looking to companies like Schneider to assist in this journey. And we also made our own commitment – to achieve Carbon Neutrality globally by 2030 and achieving 80% by 2020!! The market is talking and companies like Schneider Electric are listening! This is the real business of the future and it is being built now!

  • George Kell - Chairman of the Board at Arabesque Partners, Founding Director of the United Nations Global Compact says:

    This is an interesting article. It’s on target on most issues, but I fear that wishful thinking is blurring the state of affairs. Markets and business do not function in isolation. Regulatory frameworks, finance markets and consumer preferences are shaping trajectories. True, technology and new ideas are key drivers for growth and survival. But at any point in time these other framework conditions are co-determining the spread of new practices. And in those areas, a closer look gives reason to ring alarm bells.

    Take CO2 emissions for example. Unless there is a high enough price on GHG emissions, investors, companies and consumers will not switch to low carbon products services at the sufficient scale we need, even if science tells us over and over again that the cost of adjustments will increase the longer we wait.

    My point is simply that we need smart regulations and educated consumers if we are going to fully address the climate change issue.

  • Gideon Rosenblatt says:

    This is an excellent analysis, Andrew. Thank you. I’d like to get your take on how environmental and sustainability NGOs do already and might more effectively plug into this process of market transformation.

    Are there specific examples where you see these organizations being unusually successful in helping to usher in the kinds of systemic change you’re talking about here?

  • Andy Hoffman says:

    Hello all,

    I want to jump back into the conversation and respond to the comments that have been posted. Please keep them coming.

    One theme that seems to be emrging is the idea that there is an important role in market transformation for governments, NGOs, religious groups and others. I completely agree and do not want to leave the impression that I think they are irrelevant. They all part of the system that is the market, and they each have a role to play in pushing broad level change within it.

    To Gideon’s point, NGOs are working in many ways to change the system and make it more sustainable. From the Natural Step’s efforts to change the system conditions of sustainability, to the Environmental Defense Fund’s work in corporate partnerships and its requirement that any innovations must be shared freely (even with competitors), to the USGBC’s effort to change the construction industry writ large, to the USGBC’s efforts to tackle the thorniest issues of corporate sustainability (such as sustainable consumption, water scarcity and more). NGOs have long been working with investors, consumers, religious organizations and others to change the system, not just one piece of it.

    But, one important point from this paper is that all these systemic changes must lead to action at the corporate level. The last paragraph in the first section is an important thrust of this article: “Changing the way we do business is essential to addressing the challenges of environmental degradation. The market is the most powerful institution on earth, and business is the most powerful entity within it. Business transcends national boundaries, and it possesses resources that exceed those of many nation-states. Business is responsible for producing the buildings we live and work in, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the automobiles we drive, the energy that propels them, and the next form of mobility that will replace them. This does not mean that only business can generate solutions, but with its unmatched powers of ideation, production, and distribution, business is best positioned to bring the change we need at the scale we need it.”

    So, this article is written for business leaders and their changing role in driving systemic change in their business environment to create broad scale systemic sustainability. Market transformation is about assuming a more active role in changing the market and not just responding to its signals as they occur. This active role must be done in collaboration with the many other constituents of the market – shifting consumer demand, assisting in government regulation, working with investors to increase transparency, and more. This is a key theme of market transformation and one company cannot do it alone. For example, as Toyota strives to be carbon neutral by 2050, it is clear that they must work the many constituents of its business environment to get there.

  • Clementine Klijberg - Strong believer in the power of business for good says:

    Wonderful article, thank you Andy. It was interesting to note that you haven’t mentioned the Sustainable Development Goals at all. I wonder if you could comment on how you see the role of the SDGs in this transformation towards the next phase.

    Additionally, I have always seen the SDGs as a more holistic approach to sustainability that goes beyond environmental issues to include social challenges as well. Do you believe that the shift you are describing is present for social issues (like for instance gender equality) or is environmental sustainability leading the way?

  • Andy Hoffman says:

    Hello Clementine,

    Thank you for your comments.

    First, social issues are certainly part of the sustainability agenda. In many ways, the environmental issues I list are inseparable from the social – climate change creates a “climate divide” where those who had little role in causing the problem bear the largest brunt of the problem. Additionally, issues like income inequality, human rights, human trafficking and more are issues that the corporate sector will bring its expertise to bear.

    But in this article, I wanted to focus on the environment because I see the Anthropocene to be significant step change in our reality that compels a completely new way of configuring the problem and the solutions.

    Additionally, I could have talked about the Sustainable Development Goals as a prime example of a set of objectives designed to address the systemic aspects of our challenge. But I also did not want to get too specific on the multiple ways that corporations can set their objectives. Others could be the Global Compact, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and many more. Each company has decide which targets, objectives and programs fit their culture and context best.

    All are part of the general conversation and I thank you for bringing them into this specific conversation.

    Best,
    Andy

  • Tad Dritz - Erb/CEMP 2002 says:

    I enjoyed the SSIR article very much. It says, in a nice way, what I’ve thought for some time – current corporate sustainability initiatives are not bringing the world any closer to sustainability. Truthfully, I cringe to hear about ‘sustainability’ efforts because they are misnamed. Yes, many do reduce the environmental impact of operations to some degree, but few (maybe none) take any significant strides towards true sustainability. To me, these are feel good actions to make employees believe they are contributing to the greater good, when they are actually perpetuating unsustainable business practices/models.

    So, yes, I firmly we believe that a new, real phase of sustainability is needed, one where companies employing unsustainable models go out of business because they can no longer compete in a society that demands more of them. The challenge is multifaceted. At once, we need to properly account for harm done to the environment and society, and develop new, truly sustainable ways of providing goods and services that compete and win in the marketplace. These are tall tasks, but I can’t think of any group more ready to take on the challenge than the students, faculty and alumni associated Erb Institute, and this is one of many reasons I’m proud to be part of this community.

    Thank you Dr. Hoffman for bringing this issue to the fore, and for everyone on this distribution for your efforts to make this a truly more sustainable world.

  • Dede Hapner, Former VP, Pacific Gas and Electric and Executive in Residence - The Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability says:

    This is an interesting article and very timely. I agree that the impacts of climate change have moved faster than perhaps the ability of business sustainability efforts to adjust. I also know that there are many different programs out there that do more than just address the symptoms. That said, it is clear that the situation requires an analysis within all sectors to get closer to market transformation. Having worked most recently in a regulated industry, there are demands from customers, employees, government and regulators to do more. People know more and care more about these issues and that will only grow. I’ve seen the difference among the students at the Erb Institute and Ross School of Business and the various boards of NGO and business leaders that support these programs.

    I also think that whether it is in the private or public sectors (including government and regulators), there is a champion that drives the speed of change. That’s great but not good enough, because leaders change. Market transformation has to withstand those changes in leadership. It has to be top down and bottoms up. There have to be incentives and consequences in sectors that typically don’t turn on a dime. Thinking of the pace of change gives me pause. But, then I think of the impact of timing—the #MeToo Movement and mobilization by students to end gun violence and that gives me hope.

    Lastly, I agree completely that business schools need to prepare students to be effective and successful. Offering courses and experiences on how to build effective collaborations with a range of stakeholders, lobbying, media skills, etc. would be useful and powerful.

  • Aron Cramer - President and CEO, BSR says:

    Excellent article Andy!

    We at BSR have also been focused on how to “redefine sustainable business.” This is driven by three key factors: (1) alignment on the objectives for business vis-a-vis society through the SDGs and the Paris Agreement; (2) the arrival of disruption that is changing all elements of business, and (3) the realization that government is not going to set all the parameters…meaning that business leadership is crucial.

    You touch on a great many of the key questions that business leaders should be – and increasingly are – focused on: basic purpose, alignment with social expectations and needs; sustainability as a driver of innovation, and many other factors that you eloquently outline in your paper.

    The good news for all of us dedicated to sustainable business is that today’s fast-changing world means that we are pushing on an open door. The challenge is that the stakes are higher than ever, and as sustainability considerations converge with business objectives; there is a degree of rigor that must be achieved in our thinking and our actions.

    Your timely and persuasive article provides an excellent roadmap for all of us thinking through what’s next.

  • Randy Mueller - Business Student says:

    A great article and summary about the shifting landscape of corporate sustainability, but I struggle to see where in the given examples actual systemic changes are occurring. Public-private partnerships, sustainable supply chains, and greater transparency all seemingly fall under the umbrella of “sustainability 1.0” as they directly lead to lower costs and greater brand value. Emissions reductions and circular production models reflect bolder targets, but I still do not see any indication of systemic shifts as long as businesses employ these practices to enhance shareholder value, albeit on a longer time horizon.

    I like many others remain skeptical of CSR initiatives for as long as companies may integrate them a la carte (hence the importance of organizations like B Lab and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board). I would likewise hesitate to label anything above as “regenerative” as well. Regenerative practices, as I understand it, go beyond sustainable ones (i.e. zero emissions and waste) by actively rooting out our systemic crises, whether it’s through carbon sequestration, resource repletion, poverty and disease reduction, or the advancement of gender and racial equity. In short, anything that directly and actively restores our collective social, human, and natural capital.

    That is not to say your examples, Andy, aren’t a step in the right direction, but hopefully we can all agree we’ll need to do more and do better going forward. My apologies if I’m coming off as arrogant, but I do believe your group, the thought leaders and academics, should play a shared role in demanding more from our businesses.

  • Megan DeYoung - Advisory Board Member, The Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability says:

    Many companies see the world through a narrow lens. Market transformation requires companies to use a different lens in order to see and understand the complex system in which they exist.

    As the article and many comments point out, the complex system includes environmental issues like climate change. Let us not lose sight, however, of other environmental issues beyond climate change, and in fact make them a priority too. The system also includes dozens of social and economic issues. To help companies see the complexity in the system, why not create “societal boundaries” alongside “planetary boundaries” to generate a more holistic set of KPIs? We also need to map how these KPIs interrelate to truly understand the complexity in the system. Only then can companies effectively narrow in on a KPI to tackle.

    Established companies are incrementally changing why and how they do business. Long-standing companies can speed up this change by using a wider lens in their innovation, strategy, and corporate development teams. These teams will need to hire individuals with different areas of expertise so they can dig into the complexity to find a path forward.

    Corporate sustainability discussions typically focus on large corporations. But start-ups have great – possibly greater – potential to take a giant leap forward. These companies often use a lens that established companies don’t. They see the bigger system and find a role for themselves in that system. They using revenue generating business models to solve social, environmental, and economic problems. More investors are recognizing the value of investing in purpose-driven companies and in companies founded by women and minorities. This mindset gives companies that may have been previous overlooked because they didn’t fit the typical mold a real shot at success.

    Thanks for the article and spurring such engaging commentary, Andy.

  • Mark Weick - Director, Sustainability Programs - The Dow Chemical Company says:

    Andy, congratulations on a great article, and for stirring up a great dialogue that must continue if we as humans are to make the transition toward a sustainable relationship with the other life on this planet we share.

    My experiences in this journey are informed by a 35-year technical career as a chemical engineer at The Dow Chemical Company – the past 10 directing the creation and accomplishment of sustainability goals and programs. I’ve come to realize in a very practical way that the market transformation you speak about is indeed needed. In fact, Jorgen Randers was fond of telling us this as a long-time member of Dow’s Sustainability External Advisory Council – a rotating group of academic, NGO, and government advisors to Dow’s senior management since 1992 – as he told us that a lot of what we were doing years ago was simply reducing unsustainability rather than promoting sustainability – enterprise integration rather than market transformation.

    In my mind, market transformation – and sustainability 2.0 – is going to require not only technology and business strategy shifts, but also the more difficult shifts in public policy and human culture. I think the needed shifts in public policy and culture can be accomplished as we create and tap into a revived romantic and artistic vision for the symbiotic, beautiful, and sustainable relationship that humans can have with other life on this planet we share.

    The roots for this vision are already around us. Jonathon Porritt taps into this in his 2013 story of a sustainable society in 2050 called “The World We Made.” But the roots go back further than that to mystic and “religious” traditions like those of St. Francis, who called the birds and moon his brothers and sister. The current Pope brings this perspective to us, as do many others. Many of us in the sustainability movement fear these “religious” traditions for a variety of reasons, but human decisions and markets are not merely intellectual and rational – they also involve what some would call our “heart and soul.” I think that as we steer toward a positive and romantic vision of our relationship with other life that allows us to bring our whole human selves to the discussions, the new ways of doing business will find more and more support. We nurture what we love.

  • Tom Lyon - Dow Professor of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce, The Michigan Ross School of Business says:

    Andy, this article does a great job of laying out the past and present of corporate sustainability 1.0 (enterprise integration) and the hoped-for future of corporate sustainability 2.0 (market transformation). Thanks for getting this message out there and sparking a lively discussion.

    The biggest challenge I see is that systemic change is, well, a systems problem. It requires changing the rules and institutions that govern “the market.” These rules and institutions are a shared asset, a public good. As a result, no individual person or organization has proper incentives to fully develop them; put another way, they are subject to the problem of free riding. Individual companies just don’t have the incentives—or the power—to transform markets by themselves. Instead, they need to partner with others and become part of a coalition for market transformation, a coalition that includes other firms, along with activist organizations.

    Unfortunately, the track record of industry associations in self-regulating their way to change is spotty at best. The chemical industry’s Responsible Care initiative has been studied intensively, and researchers conclude it had little impact on reducing toxic chemical emissions. More commonly, transformation comes about because innovative new firms in an industry align themselves with activists representing other parts of society, such as consumers, workers, or investors. David Vogel’s new book, California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader, describes this process nicely. These coalitions of the “green and the greedy” are often the key to progress.

    The domain of politics is where societies typically debate and craft their fundamental rules and institutions. Many Americans feel our political systems are failing us, and have begun to seek solutions outside of the state, through participation in various non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Although such business/NGO partnerships are not in themselves enough to create market transformation, they can form the nucleus of a growing movement demanding a fundamental change in market rules and institutions.

    The We Are Still In movement provides a great example of a coalition that is demanding change. Businesses that have already made a commitment to a more sustainable future are crucial players in this movement. They are finding allies in environmental NGOs, universities, schools, investors, and state and municipal governments. The #MeToo movement is also a great example of how new norms and rules emerge. Many businesses and other employers are playing an important role in this transition, as they demonstrate an unwillingness to tolerate abusive sexual misconduct.

    Business is truly a powerful engine, but it runs on tracks that must be created by a broad cross-section of participants. Business firms cannot be expected to create the right rules themselves; external stakeholders must do much of the heavy lifting.

    Your call for business to engage constructively in politics is a welcome one; we need to supplement CSR with Corporate Political Responsibility (CPR). Still, it raises risks. There are already far too many examples of businesses taking advantage of their cozy relationships to government to get exemptions from regulations, sweetheart deals providing subsidized access to natural resources, or inside information about forthcoming government policies. As you suggest, a crucial part of ensuring that businesses engage more responsibly in politics is enhanced transparency. Unfortunately, none of the major ESG ratings firms in the US pay any attention to CPR yet, but awareness is growing in Europe and will reach our shores before long.

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